England coach Gareth Southgate hopes that gay soccer players “come out soon” because “it would have an enormous impact on society,” he said in an interview with an Italian newspaper published on Saturday. “The teams and players wouldn’t have any problem with it,” Southgate told La Repubblica ahead of this month’s World Cup in Qatar. “They would accept and embrace their teammates after a coming out. But footballers are afraid of the reactions outside and from the fans. “I experienced it with Thomas Hitzlsperger at Aston Villa: I didn’t think he was gay and when he announced it, it was something completely normal,” he said of the former Germany international, who came out as gay after he retired from playing.